Since assuming her (then) role of Uber’s first Chief Brand Officer, Bozoma Saint John has made it her mission to revitalize the global transportation company, both inside and out. In this conversation, Saint John describes her rise from Pepsi to Apple to Uber, the meaning of brand value and the importance of changing the conversation about workplace culture and diversity in Silicon Valley and beyond.
On telling Uber’s story: “Tech is not just tech. Tech is actually human. The people who are writing the code, who are building the product are human beings, whose own experiences are going into creating this platform, and you have all kinds of other human beings in the process.…And obviously, the drivers and the riders who have these incredible moments every day.”
On fitting into a company’s culture: “It became apparent to me pretty early that the only way that I could actually create any noise was to bring those different opinions, thoughts, ideas to the rooms that I was in and that trying to be what other people expected or what I expected that winning seat to look like was actually not going to work for me.…I just couldn't bring all of my ideas in an authentic way while trying to be somebody else and so that meant there was only one option, be myself.”
On the current conversation around culture in the workplace: “I think this is a turning point moment… Let's just gather the forces. If we're talking about this. If we are excited about this. If there is movement around this, I want everyone to step on the gas. Let's use this moment as a catalyst to make some real change, some real significant change and, for me, it is about representation.”